Continuation of Build blog of Heller's HMS Victory

Johnny & Jan - thanks!

Danie - you’re so right!

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My eyes hurt and get cross eyed just looking at this :smiley: Looks amazing!

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Thanks Rory. Take it easy with your eyes, my friend!

What they’ve all said, awesome work – your build should carry a health warning: “Building or viewing this ship may seriously increase your diopters” :eyeglasses:

A message from the secret society of Tims :shushing_face:


Believe it or not, I did have an appointment with my opthomologist - he noted that I have a hemorrhage in my left eye. (Or maybe the remnants of a hemorrhage). He said it should “resolve itself” in a couple of months.

In other news, I amanged to break the “seat” that I was stringing some backstays. It broke, because the weight of the tweezers I was using to hold my little deadeye jig in place was a bit too much. So the seat’s been re-glued, and in thinking up a way to keep the deadeye jig still, I decided just to glue the jig to the seat, and after I get the last backstay in place, remove the jig. I hope it doesn’t make too much of a mess when I remove it. (Just so you know, the jig is made of wood, and it’s glued to the styrene of the model. I used Testor’s glue to hold it place, so if I’m lucky, it might just pop off when I finish the rigging on the seat).

Fingers crossed!!


Beautiful work my FRiend. She is looking top notch…Cheers mark

Thanks, Mark. I’m glad you took a look at my project!

So I finished the stays that are attached to the seat; unfortunately, I have found that one of the backstays has a lot of slack in it, so once I finish the backstay that this post is about, I’ll go tackle the slackness in that backstay.

Heller’s instructions indicate that there are 3 backstays that are attached to the deadeye channel. These backstays are, from left to right, H19, H17, and H16:

But in looking at Longridge’s book, and another reference source I have, they both show only 1 backstay on the deadeye channel, which equates to backstay H17 on Heller’s instructions:

And this image is what my other reference source indicates- again, this backstay equates to the H17 backstay, and is denoted in the image as line number 50:

So for now, I’m just waiting for the glue to get good and dry on this backstay, before I make-up the tackle.

Here’s how slack one of the backstays is:

I’ve already thought-up a way to get the slack out, but whether or not I can make it work is another matter entirely!

Thanks for checking in, and I can’t wait to see how everyone else’s Victory is coming along!! :grinning:


2 have been enough for my lifetime lol …

Nice detailed update though Tim

Thanks John!

Y’know, the point of my previous entry was to say, given the choice between installing all 3 backstays on the deadeye channel vice a single backstay, I’m going with the single backstay!!

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Sometimes less is best :grin:

…and considering the sheer amount of rigging, you already have done and are still doing…the one backstay definitely will do!
Your patience and endurance with all those threads continues to amaze me, and it is heart every time to see some progress - that you are still ‘on’ and that your HMS Victory is, slowly but certainly, nearing completion!
Great work Tim!


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I just found this thread…WOW. A good number of years ago I built Revell’s Cutty Sark (1/96?) with the intention of working my way up to Heller’s Victory. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to start work on the Victory, circumstances were such that I knew it was not going to happen. The main reason (aside from the personal stuff I’m omitting here) was that the instructions were too chaotic (for lack of a better word) for me to follow. I sold the kit. All that said, I have a good idea what this kit is, and sir, you have my full admiration - your build is a treat to follow. I look forward to the final photos.

Hiya Jan!

Yep, one “stitch” at a time, and Victory will be done before you know it! Thanks.


Hi Evan!

One of my first tall ships I built was Revell’s 1/96 Thermopolaye - basically a sister ship to Cutty Sark.

And you’re absolutely right - the instructions are pretty chaotic, and definitely not for either a beginner or the faint of hear!

And I look forward to when I can post the final photos!!

Thanks for taking a look, and I hope you found the first part of this blog in the archives section - more construction details can be found there.

Thanks again!


The Revell Thermopolaye! THAT’S a trip down memory lane. I haven’t seen spar nor anchor of that puppy in many years. It’s long out of production, yes?

If I understood the press release, a few months back, about the new German / French resurrection of Heller, the Victory’s instructions are going to be completely rewritten. IF this does come to pass, me and my TBI may have a go at it. It’s one of those kits that got its hooks in me; one you just have to build regardless of how bat sh*t crazy it is. :rofl: Fully appreciating that it is, at the very least, a two year build, I still want to do it.

I know it is late in the game for you, but are you aware of:

The owner’s name escapes me at the moment, but he makes amazing rope. Not string or thread; rope.

I am looking very forward to seeing the completed ship. I will search the archive for part one.

This is a 50+ year old memory so maybe faulty. Back then I made a balsa & paper biplane kit, requiring the use of “dope” (pear-drop smell, got moderately high) to taughten the paper panels by shrinkage. It worked dramatically well, so I subsequently tried the same stuff to taughten some rigging on a (coincidentally) Heller Royal Louis. Perhaps because the experience was equally addling I can’t now remember for certain how well it worked, but you may know of some similar chemical which might have the desired effect.

I wonder what is the title of the guy who designed the rigging for these ships and do they really have a plan or do they wing it as they built them. Mark

Hi Evan,

Well, I wouldn’t know if Thermopolaye is out production or not - I don’t keep track of such things. I think I saw a 1/350 version of Thermopolaye some years ago, though.

That would be interesting, to see a resurrected Heller. Lord knows those instructions need a re-write!

Yes, I’ve visited the “ropes of Scale” website. Interesting stuff, but by the time I found the website, I had already purchased most of my threads.

For what it’s worth, I’ve been working on Victory, off and on, since 2010!

For the archive, click on “archive” at the top of this page, it will give you a dropdown, select Modelshipwrights, that will take you to the old MSW page. From there, click on (old) forums, then click on General Modelbuilding (or is it General Shipbuilding?), then my old blog should be right at the top.

Thanks for taking a look!


Thanks for the idea, Tim. I’m not sure if some airplane dope will take out the slack on the backstay - I’d say there’s about a quarter of an inch slack that has appeared, so maybe more enhanced tricks will be needed!


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Mark! Long time, no see. Hope all is well with you.

I think the guy who designed the rigging was a relative of Torquemada’s! :rofl: